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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Shopping at packed mall

It has been a rather ordinary week at work. I drove the storage round all the days, because I had other things to do at the storages as well.

This weekend is traditionally the time to start decorate your home for Christmas. I exchanged the curtains and tablecloths. I still haven't decided if I should get the fake tree down from the attic also. Maybe.

Yesterday I went to Helsingborg by train and bus to go to the big mall, Väla. I knew already before I started that it would be a very bad idea to go shopping, because it was pay day Friday. I was right. The mall was packed with people. I was on the first bus getting there a few minutes after opening, and the parking lot was already full. The bus was too. It takes focus and determination to get any shopping done in a situation like that. I managed to get some more Christmas presents, and also some things for myself. The mall has been enlarged recently, and there were several interesting new stores. Väla is by far my favorite place to go shopping (in Sweden).

There still isn't any winter weather to speak of here. About 5-8 centigrades, dark and rather wet. Right now there is a severe storm, I have heard about winds up to 30 meters per second on the west coast. I have stayed indoors all day. The authorities have issued a high level warning. They don't want people to go out in this weather, you can get injured by falling trees and other objects.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pay raise

It has been a busy week at work. I had desk duty twice, both Monday and Thursday. Especially the Monday was hard to get through. It required a lot of chocolate to stay alert. We are in the process of a major reorganization, and there was a big staff meeting Wednesday. Several of the bosses are retiring, and they haven't been able to fill their seats. No one wants to take over. There are four vacancies and they are encouraging people to apply. I think about 15 colleagues have been on my case about this, but I have decided not to participate. I will be occupied with the big move for the next two years or so, and I can't take on any additional work. According to the latest info, the shelves at the new storage will be installed in March, so we are making preparations the best we can.

The most interesting thing at work was really the letter stating what my new salary will be. They were very delayed with the negotiations, so I will get the pay raise for all the months of this year with the next salary. It's going to be a pretty impressive amount, and I am of course very happy about this. All the university employees will get a larger sum on Friday next week, and I think this will have effect on the Christmas shopping in town.

Speaking of shopping, I have again been in Lund for this purpose. It went very well. In several cases I took the easy way out and bought gift certificates for Christmas presents. Today I started on a creative endeavor to make my own Christmas ornaments, and it was quite fun until I cut myself on the metal wire. I made hearts with beads on a metal wire. My friend Eva came to visit, and we had a nice chat. I have once again cleared out some clothes and other things, and she got some of it. The rest will be handed over to a charity shop in Lund.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Book sale in Lund

The week at work ended Friday afternoon with an interesting workshop. They are planning for a new addition to the library, where we will have climate controlled stacks for the old collection. This is in the very beginning of planning for it, so they invited some staff members and architects to have a discussion. We came up with several different ideas for the location of this building. We'll see if the architects will make use of any of the ideas we presented.

I have come pretty far in my Christmas shopping, surprisingly enough. I have been shopping both downtown Lund and at a mall after work several days this past week. I was in Lund also yesterday, mainly for the second hand book sale arranged by the local Amnesty organization. I don't really need any more books, but it was still fun to see what was offered. I bought one book that I didn't think we had at work, but when I checked the catalogue later, I saw that we did. It doesn't matter, I will just add it as a second copy. The Christmas ornaments were already out for sale at the second hand store, and I got some small things there.

Sunday evenings there is a TV show called "Allt för Sverige" (Everything for Sweden) here. It's a show where ten Americans visit their ancestral homeland and compete in various strange sports like catching the meatball, in order to decide which one will eventually meet his/her living Swedish relatives. It sounds odd, and it is. It has been fascinating to see the Americans experiencing Sweden for the first time. This is a link to their Facebook site (some of it is in Swedish): http://www.facebook.com/AlltforSverige.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekend at the summer house

The main event at work this past week was the cake party on Monday afternoon. One of my colleagues, who has an unbeatable record of 51 years on the job, was going to retire. It was the end of an era. He was the one who taught me everything I know about the book collection. He was nervous about leaving me in charge of it now... He has always said that it takes 30 years before you have encountered all the kinds of problems relating to book retrieval there are. I have worked there for 15 years, so he thinks that I have a long way to go. Unfortunately, I have no one to ask for advice now.

It was a four-day work week for me. I took Friday off. Thursday evening, after desk duty, I took the train and bus to the summer house. My mother had been there for a few days already, and my sister and her family arrived the same evening as I. We had a very nice weekend; playing with the kids, eating (a lot), going for ice-cream in town, solving crossword puzzles and visiting the beach. All Saint's Day (Saturday) we put flowers and lit candles at the family graves in Norra Strö cemetery. After this family oriented weekend I took the train home again this afternoon.

It's not that cold here, if you look at the statistics. It's about ten centigrades, very dark and often misty. It's usually colder here at this time of year. I have just removed the furniture from the balcony and brought down the winter coat from the attic, so I'm prepared for a change in the weather. I hope this winter will not be as difficult as the last one.